New Hampshire’s new outdoor industry agency obtains federal funding
Executive Council OKs $90k grant get office up and running
Well over a year after its approval, it looks like the Office of Outdoor Recreation will finally be getting the funding to get down to business.
The office, which was formed to support development of New Hampshire’s tourism economy, was created as part of the state budget that was passed in 2019, but no state funding was appropriated to support it. Instead, the office was left to seeking out federal funding in order to operate.
After months of trying, the officials of the Department of Business and Economic Affairs, of which the new agency is a part, were able to obtain a $391,666 grant from the federally supported Northern Border Regional Commission. The Executive Council voted to accept the funding at its Jan. 20 meeting. The last hurdle for the new office is the Legislative Fiscal Committee, which also must approve the grant.
The office was created after businesses and outdoors lovers pushed for its opening. The new agency’s mission is to promote New Hampshire as the East Coast state that best combines a vibrant economy with outdoor lifestyles.
According to a 2019 report by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis, the outdoor recreation industry employs nearly 38,000 people in New Hampshire and accounts for 3.3% of the gross state product.